USA to Remove All Diplomatic Personnel from Venezuela

US pulls remaining diplomats out of Venezuelan embassies as crisis worsens

"I'm very confident that the tide is moving in the direction of the Venezuelan people", Pompeo said. He said that school and work in the country would be suspended for another 48 hours.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed Monday night that the Trump administration is ordering the return of all staff from the US Embassy in Venezuela in the coming days; citing a "deteriorating situation" resulting from the country's five-day long blackout. Generators have alleviated conditions for some critically ill. President Donald Trump has said that he doesn't rule out any options including military intervention to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

In January, President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela won re-election, but Juan Guaidó, an opposition leader, declared himself the interim president, setting off a political crisis. He also said two people who were trying to sabotage power facilities were captured and were providing information to authorities, though he gave no details.

Maduro said Sunday the national electricity system was targeted by cyberattacks and tweeted images of protesters rallying against the "sabotage".

Pompeo sought to counter claims that the chief US concern is Venezuela's oil, and argued again that Maduro's grip on power was weakening as the country continues to suffer through extended power and water shortages.

"Maduro, along with Minister of Communication Jorge Rodriguez, continue to provide evidence that Pompeo and the USA authorities were the masterminds behind this very "situation", pulling off a cyber attack on the state electric company's computer system at the El Guri hydroelectric plant resulting in the near nationwide power outage, "reported teleSUR English Tuesday". There were widespread reports of looting on Monday in the city of Maracaibo.

Guaido asked the country's armed forces to allow protests during the country's interrupted electricity service, which he said was caused by corruption and inefficiency.

Winston Cabas, the head of Venezuela's electrical engineers union, which opposes the government, disputed government allegations that the country's main hydroelectric dam was sabotaged last week. "The imperialist government of the United States ordered this attack", he said. Of Venezuela's close ties with Russia, Pompeo called them "a match made in hell".

The State Department ordered all non-emergency personnel to leave Venezuela back in January, days after President Nicolas Maduro ended diplomatic relations with Washington and ordered US diplomats to leave after President Donald Trump officially recognized Juan Guaido as interim president. However, many in the U.S. Congress are not.

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